May 31, 2017:

There was the time a press of belligerent frat boys threatened to "take you out to the orange groves and rape your ass." I said, "Oh. Now I understand what you mean by 'Greek society.'" It went over poorly.

They wanted my girlfriend. She was beautiful as fresh peaches, dripping with unexplored sexuality. Her sparkling charisma got her into trouble and nearly got my ass raped in orange groves. We didn't last. Breaking off with her was pretty much the hardest thing I've ever deliberately experienced.

There was the campaign to subvert the Commons. Centering around hilarious faux question-and-answer postings on 3x5 cards on the bulletin board. We asked and answered them in biting, mordant humor. An art project of some collective merit.

There was the competition of practical jokes. My dorm neighbor set the famous landmark clock running backward; I hid all the furniture on the second floor, including the wall outlets. There was a good deal of alcohol.

There was the useless drunken philosophy professor comically skeeving undergraduate coeds, occasionally being accepted. The scowling literature professor whose beard looked like Bride of Frankenstein. The brilliant, kindhearted Sociology professor who was helpful and supportive and probably the one I should have chosen to work with, although he knew nothing of the things that interested me. The American History professor who knew far less than I did about history in either its American or European variants. The Chemistry guy whose fame was a biannual explosives class, perhaps in memory of the Weathermen, perhaps not. The Mathematics guy with no students 'cos who gives a shit.

Mostly there was what could have been. It was an embryo of that Red University the Parisian class of '68 talked so much about. Almost democratic, almost inclusive, almost egalitarian while nevertheless committed to excellence. It was flotsam on the '60s wave, shipwrecked in the '70s. It was NOT the comical hippy good-vibey transpersonal caricature which the two professors leading the inventory above published as its "history". It was serious. It could have been serious if the flippant faculty trivializers had allowed it to be.

Ironically it died from its own excellence. To remain accredited the parent University needed to absorb its test scores. Which it did.

Many of the students moved north. From that hejira we got one of America's quirkiest college radio bands of the late '80s, a band which perfectly reflected its distant origin. And we got my lifelong love of Greek food, which is another story for another time.

What would it feel like to walk there now?